Missing PBJ deadlines will lead to 'suppressed' star ratings, CMS warns

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The next PBJ deadline is May 15, CMS reminded providers.
The next PBJ deadline is May 15, CMS reminded providers.

Skilled nursing providers who miss two Payroll Based Journaling deadlines in a row will face “suppressed” Five Star ratings, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials said Thursday. Their warning comes less than two weeks before the May 15 submission deadline for data from the second fiscal quarter.

CMS officials used Thursday's SNF Open Door Forum to “strongly encourage” providers to submit staffing data throughout the quarter, not wait until the last minute before a deadline. PBJ data must be submitted successfully in order to be considered on time, they reminded.

“Beginning with the next submission deadline providers who have not submitted any data for two consecutive deadlines will have their overall star and staffing ratings suppressed,” CMS official Lorelei Kahn said on the call, one attendee told McKnight's.

That data will be used to calculate staffing data for the Five Star rating system beginning in 2018, officials said. While facilities' data is not currently used in ratings, a badge does appear on each provider's' Nursing Home Compare page to show whether or not the facility has submitted staffing data.

Officials could not say exactly which quarters' data will be used in those calculations, but noted that it will likely be data from the fourth quarter of 2017, and possibly earlier. CMS has not yet determined whether only nursing time will be used to calculate the ratings, or other disciplines as well. Right now, officials said, the agency is mostly focused on “every facility submitting complete and accurate data.”

CMS officials also used the call to discuss the proposed SNF Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing rule for Fiscal Year 2018, which was released last week.